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1.1 Water is indispensable not only for all human beings but also for all living creatures, and so efforts must continue to ensure that there is sufficient water of adequate quality for all purposes. However, floods are a constant threat to life and property, and the damage and loss of life caused by flood disasters increase steadily, while global climate change could make these problems much more difficult to overcome in the future.
1.2 This trend is expected to continue, which will make it difficult to break the vicious circle of poverty in developing countries and threatens any chance of attaining sustainable development where it is most needed. In developed countries, increased asset values per unit area lead to increased vulnerability, even in the most sophisticated societies. Although flood disasters cannot be completely prevented, flood damage can be mitigated by a shift from reactive (after event) approaches to proactive (before event) approaches to flood management.
1.3 Although there are many national and international initiatives aimed at the mitigation of flood damage, these are usually independently implemented without coordination at the global level. Therefore, there is an urgent need to launch a new initiative to bring these scattered initiatives together so as to make them more effective.


This new initiative is entitled the International Flood Network (IFNet).


The objectives of IFNet are to help break the vicious circle of poverty, assist developing countries to achieve sustainable development and contribute to economic stability by improving the coordination and effectiveness of measures to manage floods and reduce the loss of life and property damage that they cause.


FNet provides a framework within which all who work in flood management can exchange information and seek partnerships to improve the effectiveness of their work. More specifically, IFNet
- provides a mechanism for the exchange of information by establishing on interactive web site and circulating a periodic newsletter,
- convenes and co
- sponsors symposia, workshops and other meetings on topics related to flooding,
- encourages its participants and others to coordinate their efforts and collaborate in joint projects and thus improve the effectiveness of their individual programmes.

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